fabric presents: Chaos In The CBD album cover
fabric presents: Chaos In The CBD

Chaos in the CBD


New Zealand via London DJ/producer duo Ben and Louis Helliker-Hales aka Chaos in the CBD have always had a very focused sound: house music with lots of soul/jazz chords, soft textures, flutes and bongos. On their mix album for London’s fabric, they demonstrate precisely where their inspiration comes from. This selection is almost all from the early 90s, and floats in the zone between Larry Heard and Marshall Jefferson’s gentlest and most meditative early Chicago grooves, the dreamily naive first attempts of Italian producers at deep house, and the birth of prog house before it became dry and formulaic. Almost every track features lush, warm chords, caressing glissandi, phased percussion and vocal samples, and — yes — oodles of flutes and bongos. In lesser hands it would be cheesy or boring, but the selection and sequencing is so exact, ensuring that for all the warty, utopian New Age elements there are equal helpings of funk that it truly captures an ecstatic moment when you’ve escaped the clock and are drifting in a disco space free of all worry.

Joe Muggs

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